Dartmouth cuts golf programs, closes college-owned Hanover Country Club

The Dartmouth men’s and women’s golf teams were among the varsity sports eliminated on Thursday at the college located in Hanover, New Hampshire. In addition to cutting sports teams, Dartmouth announced it is permanently closing the Hanover Country Club, the college-owned golf course that reportedly operated in the red for many years.

The college cited the pandemic and resulting financial challenges in its decision. A school release noted that all departments, divisions and schools at Dartmouth are facing financial cutbacks to reduce the projected deficit by the end of the new fiscal year, in June 2021. In addition to the elimination of the teams and the closing of the country club, an administrative restructuring is also underway in athletics. Those changes are projected to save more than $2 million.

“I can assure you that these decisions were made with great care and with the long-term interests of the learning experience provided by Dartmouth Athletics front and center,” President Philip J. Hanlon told faculty, students, staff, and all undergraduate families in an email.

The teams will be suspended immediately, and the cuts also amount to 15 lost staff jobs – including eight coaching positions. About 11 student-athletes will be affected by the cuts.

The country club has been closed since this past fall but the school does not plan to sell the property. The release noted that it will explore how to keep it open for community recreational use.

In addition to men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming and diving and men’s lightweight rowing also are being eliminated. That leaves Dartmouth with 30 varsity teams.

Dartmouth competed in the Ivy League, which already announced this week it was canceling the fall sports season.

The Big Green women’s golf team finished a season-best fourth-place at the FAU Winter Warm-Up, what turned out to be its last start of the 2019-20 season. The team, coached by Alex Kirk, closed the season ranked No. 150 by Golfweek.

Dartmouth’s men, coached by Bill Johnson, had their best finish of the season (fourth) at their own Dartmouth Invitational at Hanover Country Club. The men ended the season ranked No. 236 by Golfweek.

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